Fall has arrived and the last quarter of the calendar year is approaching quickly. Now more than ever would be a good time to begin prepping your financial documents for this upcoming tax season. While you don’t need to have everything prepared just yet, here are five suggestions to ensure that you’re ready to go well before it begins.
Gather all necessary information The first step is to gather all of your information. While you may not have your W-2s for the year just yet, any other documents--investment statements, last year’s tax return, bank statements, and any other financial statements--can be pulled together for ease of access. You’ll ideally already have a filing system in place for tax purposes, but now is the time to create one if you don’t.
Plan ahead in case you owe taxes
If you believe you might owe taxes, draft a budget to ensure you’re on track for paying back any taxes owed. Track your spending to stay on track, balance checkbooks regularly, and have a portion of your paycheck be automatically deposited into your savings account each month. Having an emergency fund where money for taxes owed can go is also a good idea.
Contact your tax preparer
Another great tip to prepare for next tax season is to contact your tax preparer. They can give you advice on how best to file taxes, what deductions are allowed, and answer any other questions you may have about your return. If you do not yet have a professional tax preparer, make an appointment with R&G Brenner to begin preparing your next tax filing.
Monitor any changes from the IRS
The next tip is to monitor any changes made by the IRS. There may be announcements throughout the year about which tax deductions are allowed, or if deadlines for filing have changed. You can remain up-to-date by visiting the IRS website and subscribing to their email updates. If anything has been made clear by this past year, it's that we are living in unprecedented times and anything can change at any moment.
Save a record of all business/work-related expenses
If you’re in a profession that requires business expenses, be sure to save a record of all receipts--from new office equipment to car fuel for work-required travel, each receipt is important to retain. If you’re uncertain of which receipts to keep, the IRS provides a lists all the deductions you can take and how to figure out which ones apply to your business.
The tax deadline will be here before we know it, and we want you to be prepared. If you're looking to get a head start on this process, schedule an appointment with one of our tax experts. They’ll be able to answer any questions or concerns that may arise during the filing process, and they can provide additional suggestions on how to maintain your tax documents all year round.